Grab your essentials and go

Change in times: A restaurant staff in Petaling Jaya putting up a notice to inform customers of the new operating hours.

PETALING JAYA: As part of the stricter rules to bring down the surging Covid-19 cases in the country, Malaysians will now be given a two-hour limit for their shopping.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the new two-hour limit would apply to all retail premises, including shopping malls, as part of the stricter standard operating procedure nationwide to be enforced beginning tomorrow.

“(The) time limit for customers at every retail premises, including shopping malls, will be limited to a maximum of two hours, ” he said in a statement posted on Twitter yesterday.

Nanta said every retail premises, including shopping malls, must also impose a limit on the number of customers in accordance to the rule of one person for every four square metres.

In line with the tightened SOP announced on Saturday, Nanta said the operating hours for every sector in retail, trade, distribution as well as restaurants would be limited to between 8am and 8pm, except for pharmacies and personal care shops, which would be open between 8am and 10pm.

Personal care shops do not include activities banned under the current movement control order such as spa, wellness, manicure and pedicure.

Workers’ capacity at all retail and distribution premises, and shopping malls, including management, operation and support staff, are capped at 60%.

On Saturday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that most shops would be required to operate between 8am to 8pm starting tomorrow under stricter rules to address the spike in Covid-19 cases that have in recent days hovered close to 7,000.

The new operating hours will apply to businesses such as restaurants, food stalls, food truck operators, food delivery and take-away, sundry shops and convenience stores, malls, pet stores, laundromats, optical wear shops and hair salon.

Pharmacies and petrol stations at rest stops along highways will remain open around the clock.

Nanta said retail premises, including shopping malls listed under the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system as high-risk areas after a Health Ministry’s assessment, would be closed immediately for three days for sanitisation.

Nanta called on industry players to ensure that these protocols were fully complied with by their respective workers and customers.

“Premises owners must always be proactive, aware and ensure that SOP compliance is at peak at all times for public safety, ” he said, adding that 2,262 enforcement officers would be mobilised nationwide.

“Ministry enforcement officers will also beef up inspection at premises, especially on weekends and holidays.

“As the agency empowered to enforce the MCO under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, we will not compromise in taking stern action, including issuing compounds.

“We will not hesitate to propose to the NSC for the immediate closure of any premises found not complying with the tightened SOP, ” warned Nanta.

He also expressed hope that industry players would cooperate with the government to reduce travel among the public so as to quickly bring down Covid-19 figures and for the local economy to recover as soon as possible.

Further details of the SOP in the retail and trade sector can be accessed at while information on the MCO 3.0 is available at the National Security Council’s website at new set of SOP will apply in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan until June 7.

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